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HEC Adds To Wealth Of Financial Training Choice Since Crisis

The French business school plans to run a dual degree to equip students for the radically altered financial sector.

HEC Paris last week launched a new dual degree finance program to help equip students for careers in a financial services sector which has been radically altered since the global financial crisis.

The MBA-MSc in International Finance allows students to complete both a 16-month MBA and a 10-month Master in Finance in a total of 20 months. Dual degree students will receive both an MBA and an MSc in International Finance upon completion of the program.

“The financial crisis has challenged business schools to find new ways to equip their graduates with the right set of knowledge, skills and values,” says Jacques Olivier, program director.

The French business school has designed the MBA-MIF dual degree for young professionals. It is targeting those who wish to acquire the general management education and leadership skills associated with an MBA program, but also advanced technical knowledge in finance.

Many European business schools have launched new finance-specific MBA and master’s programs in light of the financial crisis.

HEC hopes it will differentiate MBA-MIF graduates from their peers.

“This unique combination will allow dual degree students to fast-track [into] senior management positions within finance and consulting,” Jacques says.

HEC will hope to draw on the strengths of two of its flagship business education programs – the full-time MBA and the MIF. The MBA is ranked within the top-25 of global MBA rankings, while the Master’s degree has been ranked first globally for the past four consecutive years.

The MBA-MIF program will allow for a double specialization in finance with the MIF, and in strategy, entrepreneurship or leadership with the MBA. The course will cater for a range of experience levels – students will learn early intensive training in finance, but those with experience in finance start accounting and finance classes at an advanced level.

Students will also have to write a professional thesis, which will explore how research is being implemented in the daily practice of finance in a highly competitive environment.

All courses on the MBA-MIF program will be offered in the English language. However, the school says that some knowledge of French can be useful to enjoy the “full HEC experience”.

But students will be required to speak at least one language other than English at an intermediate level upon graduation. French classes are offered during the year, as well as a preparatory intensive French course which is taught in August.

HEC hopes the degree will optimize networking opportunities both within the more senior MBA cohort and the typically younger MIF cohort.

It is expected that the first intake will blend the profiles of both of these cohorts – the median age of the 2014 MBA class is 30, while the median age of this year’s MIF class is 23. Both cohorts have a median GMAT score of about 700. The percentage of international students in these classes is high – between roughly 70% and 85%.

FT rankings data show that an average salary for an MIF – which is a pre-experience program – graduate is about $91,000. MBA graduates net about $120,000. Most MIF graduates seek placements in the financial sector, in areas including asset management, M&A and private equity.

The MBA-MIF program prospectus suggests applicants are required to: hold a Bachelor or Master’s degree from a Tier-1 international institution with 2:1 honours or above; will have at least two years of full-time, post-graduation, work experience by August 2015; are fluent in English; and have a strong quantitative background.

For more experienced candidates, the Business Track will require prior training in financial accounting, corporate finance, investments, business statistics and calculus.

Successful candidates need to be admitted by both the HEC MBA and by the HEC MIF.

Tuition fees for 2015-2017 are €64,000. The first application deadline is November 5, 2014.

For more information, visit: http://www.mba.hec.edu/Dual-Degrees/Academics/Program-Structure

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